20150122-EGYPT-0195
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Cruising the Nile

20150122-EGYPT-0195

When we decided to go to Egypt, I had no idea how we would ‘cover’ Egypt as such a big and vast country; as a person who I think I understand geography and love traveling, I should be embarrassed, because apart from Cairo and vaguely Alexandria, I don’t have a clue about the names of other cities in Egypt.  So when my husband asked me  “Do you want to take the Nile Cruise?”

” Yeah OK” I said, and carried on doing other things, without thinking.  I didn’t know then that for some people this is the ultimate travel destination and why!!!….

Basically I don’t like cruising holidays; I prefer to have active holidays; the idea of a cruise trip was not appealing to me.  Imagine the view you get when the ship sails? I bet it’s only water and then more water is all you see as you go off shore to the open sea;  Yes, we could do a lot of things inside a proper cruise ship, such as swimming, watching movies or shopping; but really, you can do the same things inside a shopping mall on dry land so why do we need to go on a ship to do so???

However, as soon as I said yes to the Nile cruise, my husband booked the holiday and suddenly we couldn’t change to another option of traveling through Egypt.  I guess this cruise would not be too bad, as it is not a cruise on the open sea; there are river banks that should give different views along the river.  Later on I learned that Nile cruises are treated as the ultimate holiday destination, and this is also one of the ways to see Egypt aside from diving on the Red Sea or Sharm al Sheikh holidays. This is the cruise that you can see and learn more about Egypt’s interior, instead of the old and tired city of Cairo and Giza Pyramids.

***

map_nile_river_cruise

Nile Cruise and whereabouts on the Egypt map

The route was from Luxor to Aswan, and I didn’t have a clue where it was on the map until I got back to Doha and looked at a map. They said we were going to Upper Egypt, yes Luxor is located in the south of Egypt but they always said that it’s in the Upper Egypt;  I guess because we are going up stream of the the river. The map on the left explains where the trip was in Egypt.

We ended up staying on board Steam Ship Sudan for 4 nights and 5 days, but we only sailed for 3 days. We visited the West Bank of Luxor earlier on the start day a visit to Colossi of Memnon, where there are two massive stone statues of Pharaoh Amenhotep III standing under the rays of the morning sun, and then we continued with the Valley of the Kings, which contains 62 tombs.  In 1922, Howard Carter found the last and the most well-known of these tombs, belonging to the young pharaoh Tutankhamun.

map by Orbital Travel.co.uk

Map of the cruise from Luxor to Aswan *)
by Orbital Travel.co.uk

Yes, we had to fly to Luxor from Cairo and stayed overnight in Luxor, but once we were on board Steam Ship Sudan and started sailing…. it was magical. I can’t compare it with any other of my travel experiences. We were off shore, only a few hundred meters from each sides of the river bank and maybe a little bit than a kilometer away from downtown on the nearest city, yet, everything was already different. The speed, the noise, the smell, the breeze, the scenery… everything. I  felt like I was already in another world, another planet. There was no warning or no noise of the steam ship nor was there any jerk that the ship had sailed. The only difference was as we moved the panorama changes, and that’s the only indication that we were now sailing up stream of the River Nile.

We distance ourselves from the hustle busle of the city of Luxor

We distance ourselves from the hustle bustle of the city of Luxor

Or even from the village across the bank

Or even from the village across the bank

The ship provide us with a wi-fi facility, where we could connect with the rest of the world, but in late January, when Europe is cold, and between Luxor and Aswan the temperature was  so pleasant (between 12°C to maximum 25°C), who wanted to know about winter, when we had such a nice option, away from the current affairs and world news, and I think it was a blessing in disguise that the internet facilities were not working very well, so I could detox myself from modern civilization.

It was so calm and silent... activities around was very limited

It was so calm and silent; activities around was very limited

Still water of the river that gives an almost perfect reflection of the on shore landscape

Still water of the river that gives an almost perfect reflection of the on shore landscape

So aside from the occasional stops at Esna, Kom Ombo and later on our final destination in Aswan, where I learned about Ancient Egypt history, on board the steam ship I was able to see the real Egypt, where people still sail on their traditional Felucca, which has hardly changed over hundreds and thousands of years.

Felucca, means of transports along the Nile that has been there for thousand of years and only change a little since then.

Felucca, means of transport along the Nile that has been there for thousand of years and only change little since then.

Occasionally another steam ship passed by....

Occasionally another steam ship passed by….

As we are approaching Aswan, there are more activities on the river bank

As we are approaching Aswan, there are more activities on the river banks

Earlier I was against cruising holidays, but this Nile Cruise changed my view on cruising holidays. In-fact, this holiday gave me such a different perspective on boat trips, and most of all Egypt was not that bad after all. Next:  Steam Ship Sudan and the Death on the Nile

Filed under: eJournal, Travel Notes

About the Author

Posted by

I used to live as an expat and travel around the Middle East. After 10 years working in the Arabian Gulf I am now retired and living in the UK with my British husband but still retain my interests of further travels and exploring new horizons in Europe.

26 Comments

  1. hani nandana

    Egypt has always been my “dream” I passed by Cairo as a child on our way from Calcutta to Europe – at that time that was the route. I was only 10 years at titme but the pyramides intrigued me so much and a very kind and old Egyptian person who noticed that I collect coins from various countries approached me and gave me an “old/ancient” coin – it was still sterling silver – which I kept all along.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that was then, things are different now…
      You should try the Nile Cruise, it’s still hold it’s magic🙂

      Like

  2. Okay officially jealous🙂
    I would love to do this trip. I’ve wanted to go to Egypt since I was 14!
    Gorgeous photos Nina. Thank you. They only make me want to go all the more.
    Alison

    Liked by 1 person

    • Nile Cruise was really magical, it’s like traveling back in time. I understand now, why this is the ultimate cruise, and yes forget the other places like Cairo or Alexandria, just go directly to the cruise trip. Even my husband wants to do it again.
      N.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hahaha..iya ngumpulin duit dulu.., ongkosnya berat kalo brkt dari Oz😄
        BTW, off topic nih.. Mba Nin kan pernah tulis post tentang keribetan digital storage, cloud, dll dulu ya.. Nah, aku lihatin ke suamiku postingan itu karena kita punya kondisi serupa.. Dan.., berkat postingan yg itu, dia jadi terinspirasi, akhirnya ketemu yg paling cocok yaitu pake Western Digital MyCloud.. Ini cloud server kapasitas 8TB. Prinsip kerjanya sama kayak Apple iCloud tapi biaya penyimpanannya gratis, cuma beli unit device server-nya sekali aja sekitar US$350.. Jadi kami berdua berterima kasih banget sama mba Nin yg menginspirasi kami😃👍🙏

        Liked by 1 person

      • Itu dia, tadinya saya juga kepengen pake yg ini, WD MyCloud, tapi kata adik saya yang ahli IT, “beli merk QNaps, yang lebih canggih…” hasilnya lebih ruwet dan akhirnya sampe sekarang belum berhasil mendapat solusinya….😦
        Anyway, I am glad that my post inspire you…🙂
        N.

        Like

      • Hehehe..iya suamiku juga lihat merk-merk lain, trus dia lihat yg hasil review-nya paling OK.., si WD MyCloud X2 ini.. Katanya: easy to set up and easy to use..😃 Dan beneran gampang pakenya, kalo set up sih aku gak ngerti..
        Good luck ya mba sama cloud-nya..😀

        Like

  3. Nina I could relate when you mentioned that cruising holidays don’t appeal to you – not that I would know since I’ve never been on one. Like you I prefer active holidays but since you enjoyed cruising the Nile so much I will definitely add this to my wish list for our RTW trip. Beautiful photos! – Ginette

    Like

  4. I’ve been wanting to cruise the Nile ever since I studied Egypt in high school, which was a while ago, Nin. William Golding’s book, an Egyptian Journal, whetted my appetite more. Thank you so much for sharing. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Karen

    Thank you so much for these. Just to think I was on the same cruise but didn’t need a hack-handed attempt at taking pictures with you along. It has brought it all back to me and I’ve looked at them about twenty times in the last few days.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve never fancied cruising but I always thought I’d make an exception for the Nile (or a Baltic cruise if you could arrange that for me 🙂 )

    Like

  7. Pingback: Looking back to 2015 | Nins' Travelog

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